StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Preview - esportsonly.com

StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Preview

By: Mikele Schembri
Mar 05, 2019

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StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor is a tournament of great importance for several teams who are trying to break into that sweet top 12 within the Dota Pro Circuit. This will be the 3rd Minor of the season and one of the last 5 chances for the likes of OG and RNG to climb the ladder and ensure a spot at The International 2019.

As its name suggests, StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor is a Minor and as a result, it offers a prize pool of $300.000, 500 qualification points for the next TI, and a ticket for the DreamLeague Season 11 Major. For most the 8 teams attending the event, anything less than a 1st place finish would be almost pointless.

StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor will take place in Kiev, Ukraine between March 7th and March 10th. This means you’ll need to adjust to the Eastern European Time if you intend to watch the matches.

StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Participants

StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor will be attended by 8 teams from 6 regions:

  • North America: Flying Penguins
  • South America: Playmakers Esports
  • Europe: OG
  • CIS: Gambit Esports, Old but Gold
  • Southeast Asia: BOOM ID
  • China: Royal Never Give Up, Vici Gaming

Prizes At StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor

StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor offers a standard prize pool and 500 points but its most important reward is the ticket for the upcoming Major.

Under normal conditions, the 500 points offered by this tournament would be nothing. However, because the professional scene has been dominated this year by a handful of teams, the currently 12th placed competitor within the Dota Pro Circuit only has 225 points.

In other words, a victory at StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor, which grants 120 points, plus the 75 points offered by default to every participant at the Major, will put one of the 8 teams that are taking part in this Minor if a very good spot. With just one more participation at a Major, they would have a huge chance of breaking into the top 12 and securing a direct invite to The International 2019.

So even though the rewards offered by this Minor may seem like leftovers for the likes of Virtus.pro, these rewards may just be enough for the likes of OG, who are currently struggling at the bottom of the rankings table.

The prizes offered at StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor will be divided among the 8 attendees in the following way:

  • 1st place: 120 points + $125.000 + ticket to DreamLeague Season 11
  • 2nd place: 100 points + $70.000
  • 3rd place: 90 points + $35.000
  • 4th place: 70 points + $25.000
  • 5th – 6th place: 40 points + $15.000
  • 7th – 8th place: 20 points + $7.500

Team Analysis For ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor

Here’s a brief analysis of the 5 most important teams that are attending StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor:

Vici Gaming

Vici Gaming is the team with the best chances of claiming the title. They’re currently sitting relatively high within the Dota Pro Circuit rankings (at number 7) and are a former TI finalist. Overall, VG is a very strong team.

This Chinese Dota 2 machine has a great reputation and is one of the giants in the Chinese region. The main reason why Vici Gaming ended up playing in an event like StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor has to do with their failure to beat enough of their strong competitors in the regional qualifiers for the DreamLeague Season 11 Major.

However, just because they failed regionally, doesn’t mean that Vici Gaming really is a weak team. It simply means that China is full of strong rosters that could easily beat the best teams from other regions such as South America.

At StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor, we expect VG to have a great run and play in the Grand Final. There are only a couple of teams that can realistically challenge them and the odds are clearly in Vici Gaming’s favor.

OG

It’s quite strange but for some reason it’s a recurring team in professional Dota 2. Teams rise to prominence, they win a big event such as The International and they the vanish just as fast as they came.

In OG’s case, that’s not entirely the case because the team has had a long history of great accomplishments. However, after they won The International 2018, they simply collapsed into nothing and are now fighting for scraps in the lower echelons of professional Dota 2.

This season started poorly for OG, who first lost ana, their superstar carry player, and at the same time declined to participate in the qualifiers for the first Major of the Dota Pro Circuit, citing the need to take it easy and enjoy the title won at The International.

However, when the time came for OG to start competing again, they were playing with an improvised 5th and were doing it below expectations. As a result, they failed to qualify for the 2nd and 3rd Majors of the season. Only 2 of them remain and of course, the next one if they manage to win at StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor.

Going into this event, we do not expect OG to finish higher than 3rd place, simply because they’ve yet to develop synergy with their new carry (iLTW). Furthermore, there are quite a few strong teams at StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor and it’s unlikely that OG will best all of them in their current form.

Gambit Esports

Gambit Esports is playing exceptionally well right now and they’ve had their best season yet in their history. First they won a fairly important title at WePlay! Dota 2 Winter Madness, destroying OG in the Grand Final (score 3 – 0). Then they finished 2nd at The Bucharest Minor. After that they went on to win another edition of WePlay, beating an even better team in the Grand Final: NiP. And last but not least, to our surprise, they made it to the Grand Final of ESL One Katowice 2019, where they had no chance against the number 1 team in the world, Team Secret.

These results clearly indicate that Gambit Esports is a great team at the moment. However, they will play with a stand-in at StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor, which makes us skeptical about their chances. Still, a top 3 should be a perfectly attainable goal even in spite of missing one player.

Royal Never Give Up

This is a powerful Chinese squad with a lot of famous players in it. However, they have been struggling to find success this season, simply because of the formidable opponents they need to face in every qualifier.

At StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor, RNG should easily get a top 4. Most of their main rivals are either missing a key player or have new rosters to work with. This results in an excellent opportunity for Royal Never Give Up to score big at this event.

Flying Penguins

There’s very little to be said about Flying Penguins except for the fact that they constitute EternalEnVy’s new roster. In their own region (North America), their chances are minimal due to the fact that 3 very solid opponents dominate every qualifier. But at an event like StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor, they do have a decent chance of getting at least a top 4 result.